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Man arrested in Florida after taking backhoe for joyride

By Daniel Uria   |   Feb. 16, 2016 at 3:27 PM

KEY WEST , Fla., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A man was arrested in the Florida Keys after he took a backhoe for a joyride on the Seven Mile Bridge.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office shared video of Carl Blahnik , 59, driving the backhoe back and forth across the bridge as he dragged the chain hook, causing damage to the road.

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"The Seven Mile Bridge was closed to traffic for over three hours early today after a man dumped boulders on the roadway with a backhoe at the north end of the bridge," police wrote on Facebook. "He then took the backhoe for a ride, traveling back and forth on the bridge for an hour and a half."

A deputy's vehicle was damaged in the chase as patrol cars were forced to frequently change directions to avoid being hit by the backhoe. Police were ultimately able to stop the vehicle by laying down a spike strip.

Blahnik was arrested and charged with reckless driving, fleeing and eluding police, digging up or any way disturbing any street or highway, failing to register a motor vehicle and grand theft of a vehicle.

He was taken to Fisherman's Hospital before being taken to jail after complaining of shoulder pain and difficulty breathing.

He was in possession of a Wisconsin driver's license. Police believe ha may have been living in a wooded area near Coco Plum Beach.

Here is a short video clip of Deputy Orlando Alvarez following the backhoe on the Seven Mile Bridge in the early morning...

Posted by MCSO - Florida Keys on Tuesday, February 16, 2016
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